Founded in 1966-1967 by Valparaiso University President O.P. Kretzmann, Christ College is one of the oldest and most prestigious honors colleges in the United States. As an interdisciplinary liberal arts college, Christ College is dedicated to the cultivation of intellectual, moral, and spiritual virtues. The College’s name suggests its compatibility with Valparaiso University’s definition of itself as a university in the Christian intellectual tradition. Seven deans have served the College: Founding Dean Richard P. Baepler (1966-1978), Arlin G. Meyer (1978-1990), Mark R. Schwehn ’67 (1990-2003), Mel W. Piehl ’68 (2003-2013), Peter Kanelos (2013-2017), Susan VanZanten (2018-2021), and Jennifer Prough (2017-2018, 2021-Present).
The Christ College building, dedicated in 1970, is named Mueller Hall in honor of its principal benefactor, the late Reverend Ewald H. Mueller, longtime pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgewood, N.J.
The Christ College curriculum emphasizes liberal arts and the humanities — history, literature, art, philosophy, religion — and the social sciences. Small, discussion-centered classes offer stimulating, honors-level interdisciplinary study with master teacher-scholars. Christ College students are concurrently enrolled in one of Valpo’s other Colleges — Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, or Nursing and Health Professions — where they earn bachelor’s degrees. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Christ College celebrated its 50th anniversary; today, CC is the third-oldest honors college in the nation.
Mueller Hall, the Home of Christ College
On April 26, 1970, Valparaiso University dedicated the newly constructed Christ College building at a special worship service at the Chapel of the Resurrection. The construction of Christ College was made possible by a generous gift to the University from the Reverend Ewald H. Mueller and Mrs. Joan Mueller. The Christ College building was named Ewald H. Mueller Hall by the Board of Directors in 1978.
Mueller Hall was designed by architect Herman H. Bouman of New Jersey. Bouman’s instructions were to design a building “on the model of a British college which would provide a setting for learning on a very personal scale, contrary to the prevailing practice at many large universities where mass and impersonal education has given rise to a great deal of student dissatisfaction.”
The result of Bouman’s work expresses this ideal through numerous small seminar and lecture rooms, an attractive Commons with fireplace and an art gallery, quiet corners for reading and conversation, a multi-purpose space called the Refectory, and readily accessible faculty offices. Christ College provides a superb honors education to more than 350 Valparaiso University students, with Mueller Hall as a comfortable and welcoming place to learn.
History of Mueller Hall
Presentation by Professor Gretchen Buggeln